Two Alternative Pain Relief Options For Those That Can'T Use Common Medications

For one reason or another (e.g. allergies, ineffectiveness), some people can't use ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or similar common pain relieving medications. While this may make it more difficult to manage acute or chronic pain, there are a variety of substitute remedies available that may help. Here are two you may want to consider.

Alternative Pain Relievers

Although NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and acetaminophen are the most common types of pain relievers used, they're not the only drugs on the market that can alleviate pain. There are several class of pain medication that can be used to help manage pain, though they typically act on the body in different ways.

For instance, muscle relaxants act on the central nervous system to reduce pain by softening tense muscles. Corticosteroids are powerful anti-inflammatory medications that alleviate pain from conditions caused by inflammation, such as arthritis.

Other types of medication that may be helpful include:

  • Opioids (e.g.morphine, oxycodone) – Powerful narcotics that modify the pain receptors and messengers in the brain.
  • Anti-anxiety (e.g. lorazepam, alprazolam) – These medications alleviate pain by relaxing muscles and modifying your perception of pain.
  • Anticonvulsants (e.g. gabapentin, tiagabine) – Medicines in this category work best on neuropathic (i.e. nerve pain).
  • Antidepressants (e.g. citalopram, fluoxetine) – These meds act on the spinal cord to reduce the transmission of pain messages and may also modify your perception of pain.

Your doctor can recommend the best alternative medication for you based on your unique health profile. Be aware, though, some of these medications have serious side effects (e.g. opioids can cause constipation), so be sure to take that risk into account when deciding whether to use them.

Mind-Body Manipulation

Another option for managing pain is to participate in therapies that either provokes the body's natural pain relievers or reduces your perception of pain. For instance, when you exercise, your body releases endorphins that block pain by binding to the opioid receptors in the brain. Physical activities also alleviate stress, which can help you better tolerate your discomfort. Studies have shown that people who engage in regular exercise experience reduced chronic pain.

Other treatments and activities that may help you manage pain include acupuncture, meditation, chiropractic manipulation, physical therapy, biofeedback, yoga, and massage. As with anything, though, be sure to check with your healthcare provider to ensure you can safely participate in these activities.

For more recommendations on alternative pain remedies, contact a pain management specialist or visit a site like